July 20, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Dream Have a Baby Holodeck

Cool Wired article on A Virtual Stage That Bends Reality and Pushes Theaterís Boundaries:

"French software engineering company [Dassault SystÈmes] typically uses its virtual reality technology to test, model and simulate products for companies like Boeing.... Dassault's Passion for Innovation program [is] an initiative whose goal is to apply the companyís industrial research and technology skills to the worlds of culture and education. Since 2005, Dassault has worked with architect Jean-Pierre Houdin to simulate the construction of Cheops pyramid, partnered with director Luc Besson to bring 3-D interactivity to movie theaters, and helped cartoon artists turn their cartoons into virtual reality (and these are just a few of their projects). Mr. & Mrs. Dream is Dassaultís first crack at live dance..."

For this touring performance project, Dassault created "a mobile 'magic box,' which is basically a disassemble-able series of four gray screens and six projectors that would be the canvas for the immersive world of Mr. & Mrs. Dream. The box is similar to the virtual reality rooms traditionally used by industrial companies, only instead of testing emergency scenarios and modeling new airplane features, this box is used to motion-track dancers and project computer-generated images. For scenes like the one mentioned above, [Benoît] Marini positioned three Kinect sensors above the stage to track the dancersí movements. So when the dancers jump, the meteorites bounce, or when the dancers kick, a flurry of leaves float through the air. Most of the other projected dance numbers were motion-captured in the studio and are played back in sync with the music...."

Hat tip to Mark Askwith!

Posted by Alison Humphrey at July 20, 2013 05:14 PM